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Bernard Richard 'Dick' Bornhorst

May 21, 1938 ~ December 17, 2020 (age 82)


Carson City, Nevada - Bernard Richard ‘Dick’ Bornhorst, 82, of Carson City died Thursday, December 17, 2020, at Carson Tahoe Transitional Rehab Center in Carson City, NV after a short illness.

Born in Troy, he was son of the late Bernard Philip Bornhorst and Olivia M. Wagner Bornhorst. He was raised in the Troy area and resided in Lancaster, CA for many years and in Carson City, Nevada since 1993.  He was a 1960 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.  After graduation he was a US Air Force officer from 1960-1963 stationed at the Rocket Propulsion Laboratory at Edwards AFB in CA.  Dick was employed as a Supervisory Aerospace Engineer at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Edwards AFB, CA from 1963-1993.  He led contracted development and demonstration of the first generation liquid fueled rocket kinetic kill vehicle as part of the original "Star Wars" missile defense technology program. He also led in-house development of the first HD/DF direct combustion chemical laser, the first flight qualified hybrid rocket powered USAF target missile, and in-house demonstration of the highest performance Agena stage rocket engine. 

After retirement from the AFRL, Dick worked as an Independent Consultant from 1994 to present for both NASA and AFRL, consulting on liquid propellant rocket engines and their associated history. Dick was also President of the Meadows Homeowners Association in Carson City.  He enjoyed hiking, skiing, photography, and was an excellent amateur artist, having created all the artwork for his 1956 yearbook at Columbia High School.    

Survivors include a sister, Judith A. Massey of North Greenbush, three nephews, Steven (Jennifer) Massey, Glenn (Robin) Massey, and Jason Massey, all of North Greenbush, and three great nieces and one great nephew.  

Funeral services will be private at the convenience of the family.  Interment will be in Elmwood Hill Cemetery Troy.

Kindly omit flowers. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in memory of Bernard Richard Bornhorst to the Blooming Grove Reformed Church 706 Blooming Grove Drive Rensselaer, NY 12144. 

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Blooming Grove Reformed Church General Fund
706 Blooming Grove Driv, Rensselaer NY 12144

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